Banks continue to profit handsomely from their MasterCard and Visa operations, which generated an estimated 3.3% aggregate return on assets in 1993, according to an investment banker's informal survey.

While credit card returns are down from their peaks in recent years, they are still running at double the 1% to 1.5% pretax returns on other types of assets, said Robert K. Hammer, chairman and chief executive officer of R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, Newbury Park, Calif.

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